Dignified and distinguished. Impeccably dressed and well-spoken. Honorable - and, above all,



Words you'd easily associate with erudite actor - and gentleman - Ralph Fiennes, n'est ce pas?

But what if you slapped on less savory words? Words from the wrong side of the tracks? Oh, say, "a quickie snog in the WC"? Ralph the raffish seducer?

British tabs the Daily Mail and the Sunday Mirror said Fiennes chatted up an attendant on a flight last month and followed her when she excused herself to go to the bathroom. But salacious rumors to the contrary, she says, no carnal desires were expressed or actually sated.

"Mr. Fiennes became amorous towards me and, after a short period of time, I convinced him to leave the toilet," says Qantas Airlines flight attendant Lisa Robertson. (She is grounded, pending an investigation.) The plane was taking Ralph from Australia to India for his gig as a UNICEF ambassador to raise awareness about HIV and safe sex.

No comment from his reps.Talk-radio scene

Mary Mason said she's coming back to talk radio this weekend as an advocate of poor people.

"They don't have a voice," said Mason, whose radio voice was silenced Jan. 11 when WHAT-AM (1340) changed format. Her Saturday show on WWDB-AM (860) will be known as The People's Voice. The first show will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; after that, she'll be on from noon to 2 p.m.

Hills alive with thieves?

A burglar had his way with the Hollywood Hills manse of country music heroes

Tim McGraw


Faith Hill

when no one was at home between Friday and Monday, cops announced yesterday.

Lowdown: An unspecified amount of cash was taken; there are no suspects. Luck: This isn't the couple's primary home, Faith's rep pointed out. That would be their house in Nashville, Tenn.

Top Hollywood muscle

Community healer and leading list leader, who's always listed in some annual list or other,


tops yet another: Black Enterprise mag's annual tally of Top 50 Power Brokers in Hollywood.

The roster of most accomplished African American Tinseltown deal makers includes famous faces Denzel Washington (number 8) and Eddie Murphy (9) and faceless (to most, anyway) exec types. Rounding out the top five are Richard D. Parsons, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Inc., at number 2; Overbrook High's "Prince" Will Smith, 3; Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the bossman of Johnson Development Corp. and Magic Johnson Enterprises, 4; and Robert L. Johnson, founder, Our Stories Films, 5.

Rivers of red

In a time-honored tradition, TV Guide Channel will cover the Oscars' main event - red-carpet greetings, inane discussions about world peace and designer plugs - using its Big Journalistic Guns: Penn alum

Melissa Rivers

and her ma,


, who apparently has had her face surgically fused with a Kabuki mask. See those Riverses unleash torrents of Titanic-sinking hyperbole Feb. 25.

The other Hilton

Nicky Hilton

, the Hilton girl who, like, actually works or something, is being sued by a Chicago development group for breach of contract over a hotel renovation project. Robert Falor Investments,

et al.

, claim


' sis failed to promote her much-delayed new hotel, Nicky O's Chicago (to attract investors). She's also accused of bilking the group out of charges for interior design work she was responsible for doing.

It's sad days for Nicky's bid to become a hotelier: Her other project, in Miami, also has been beset with problems and many delays. No comment from her reps.

NBA all-star lineup

Four-time Grammy Award-winning artist

Christina Aguilera

, winner Sunday for best female pop vocal performance; six-time Grammy Award-winning R&B artist

Toni Braxton

; and six-time Grammy winner

Mary J. Blige

, who took home three of the trophies Sunday, will headline the entertainment for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Casting call

Extras are needed tomorrow to play attendees at a boxing match being shot for the independent film

The Greek American

. Show up by 11 a.m. at the New Alhambra Arena at Swanson and Ritner Streets in South Philadelphia.

Acting out

Ol' time film legend

Omar "Dr. Zhivago" Sharif

pleaded guilty yesterday to hitting a Beverly Hills parking attendant in the face in 2005 because he wouldn't accept a 20 euro bill. The deal saves the Egyptian-born actor, 74, from jail. He was sentenced to two years' probation and 15 sessions of anger-management classes, and told to stay away from the parking attendant,

Juan Anderson

. Sharif also was fined $1,000.

Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.

Inquirer staff writer Michael Klein and wire services contributed to this column.